Use iPhone Backup Extractor To Recover Lost Data [iOS Tips]



Here’s an amazing utility that every iPhone, iPad or iPod touch owner should be aware of. It will recover data from your iOS backups in iTunes, but only if the backup isn’t encrypted. I have a work-around in this tip for the encryption problem, but you’ll need to be using Mac OS X Lion.

You can get a copy of the application from the developers’ website. It is free, but a donation is highly recommended, since using it even once to recover images is well worth any kind of donation. Plus it just works and it is easy to use.

Once you download the app, copy it to the applications folder (/Applications) on your startup drive and launch it from there. You’ll be presented with a window and a button, Read Backups, which you should click. After clicking you’ll see something like this:

Select the backup you want to extract from the list, click Choose and you’ll see something like this:

The backups for each individual app can be restored. More importantly, however, check out that last item, labeled iOS Files, since it has a lot of important information. It has the photos and videos on your camera roll and a plethora of other goodies.

I recommend you download the app and do some exploring to see what you can get out of it. If you happen to accidentally try to recover data from an encrypted backup, iPhone Backup Extractor will go through the motions and actually recover the data, but you won’t be able to use any of it.

Now about that work-around for the iTunes encryption. If you are using Mac OS X Lion, you should consider using FileVault 2 to encrypt the drive containing your User Accounts Library folder, which is usually on your startup drive. By encrypting this drive, you don’t have a reason to use the separate encryption provided by iTunes since it would be redundant. Of course it also adds an extra layer of protection, so you’ll have to decide about whether you want to use this tool to recover your data or not. It won’t work with iTunes encryption enabled on your backups.






  • Bryan

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  • dcj001

    Is your classmates mom a call girl?

  • Tim Meesseman

    So I used this app because when I upgraded to my iPhone 4S, all of my Angry Birds progress got lost. I found the app data by using this program and extracted it.

    Now what do I do with it? How do I get it back on my iPhone?

  • Tim Meesseman

    Figured it out… used a program called PhoneView and restored just my individual app data for Angry Birds! Excellent!

  • prof_peabody

    that’s pretty extreme advice about encrypting the main hard drive. it’s an easy way for the average person to lose all their data.  not typically recommended. 

  • AP!

    Encrypting your iphone backup stores your login passwords for mail and other applications so when you restore from backup or update ios, you dont have to re-enter all your passwords on all your accounts. just saying…

  • Tayyab Sadiq

    one quick question, why do we need it when you have Cloud backup option?


    Wow this is awesome!

  • jenny45

    David, there is another solution which can do the same thing. Check this iTunes data recovery article… 

  • Helen Bain

    No files found when choosing ‘Read Backups’. Anything to do with me using Lion?

  • puptent

    does anyone know if i can read stored sms/text from my backup on my mac? i need to retreive some texts i deleted and want to know if this will let me read my backup on the mac. thanks

  • fischer24

    Have no idea of importing CSV files to your iPhone? Do you want to transfer the contacts from Google, Outlook Express, Hotmail and more to iPhone?

    From this video tutorial, you will find it is easy to import contacts (CSV & vCard) from Outlook, Google, Aol Mail, Thunderbird, Incredimail and other address books to iPhone with the help of iPhone Contacts Backup for Mac. This program also works well for iPhone 5 witho iOS 6. Just have a free try on it.

    Video Demo:

  • Vera299

    You can extract the backups with the 3rd software. How about Wondershare Dr.Fone? You can download in your computer and then connect your device with your PC to import file from iPhone or iPad to your PC.

  • TouchCopy

    iBackup Extractor is another really great option for retrieving lost data out of iTunes backups

  • sannyfairy

    All the above mentioned software and tips are really good. besides of this, you can also use iPhone File Transfer tool to extract files from backup of iPhone. For more info, visit:

  • MargaritoChan

    I’m using another Mac iPhone backup extractor, it works good on my Mac. It has recovered 483 photos and 149 contacts from the iTunes backup of my iPhone. You guys need to have a try.!

  • Lendsor

    Most iTunes Backup Recovery programs can only extract data from iTunes backup on computer. I recommend this iTunes Backup Extractor for Mac from Backuptrans. It provides an easy way to recover and restore SMS Messages, Contacts, calendar events, notes, bookmarks, videos, photos etc from iTunes Backup back to iPhone, iPod, iPad directly. All data from iTunes Backup will be merged perfectly. Restoring data to a new iPhone iPod, iPad is also supported. Worth a try.

  • zlhdglad

    To recover lost data from your iOS devices,you need to use an ios data recovery tool
    Related Tutorials:
    How to Recover Lost data from iPhone/iPad

    This iOS data recovery can help all iOS devices users to recover deleted or lost data like photos, contacts, SMS, videos, audio, calendar, call history, etc. from iPad, iPhone and iPod without any restrictions. It works well with the latest iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4 and other previous versions, even for iPad and iPod Touch.
    Get an iPhone data recovery tool for Windows or Mac version on your computer first, and try to recover the important message by yourself.

  • kaisajoan

    iPhone Backup Extractor make it possible for you to extract iPhone, iPad and iPod data from backup without having to restore their devices from a previous backup. They enables you to extract data including voicemails, SMS messages, voice memos, calendars, call logs, photos, videos, contacts, notes and etc. Those data can be instantly transferred and saved to a folder on your computer.

    Read more:
    How to Retrieve Deleted Photos on iPhone
    How to Recover Deleted Text Messages from iPhone

  • radharenu ganguly

    If you are in distress due to accidental data loss from your iPhone, iPad or for that matter any Apple device you need not worry any longer. iPhone photo recovery is not at all a difficult task and there is a decent chance that you can restore all your deleted or lost data such as video, photo, Message, contact and more fast and quite easily. But how? Just check this link –